Stylish twists create gourmet stars


TOWERING coconut palms growing on vast landscapes of Sri Lanka and Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala not only paint a picturesque scene but embody the regions’ gastronomic legacy.

Due to their geographical proximity, the prominent use of coconut as an ingredient is a proudly shared heritage that has inspired Nadodi’s culinary talents.Heart of Hearts offers varied textures of the banana plant.Heart of Hearts offers varied textures of the banana plant.

Aptly named Coconut Chronicles, the restaurant’s latest menu is an epicurean journey that tickles and awakens the taste buds every step of the way.

It all started with the Welcome Trio comprising amuse bouche of Chettinad Spring Chicken, Cylindrical Symphony and Tropical Pol that made quite a statement, raising expectations for the courses to follow.

Fashioned out of coriander and gelatin, an edible blanket sat atop a chicken roulade, paired with crispy bread and spinach as well as coriander chutney.

These warmed the senses with flavours typical of Chettinad cuisine.

The Cylindrical Symphony was a nod to Kerala’s sadya – an elaborate meal served on a banana leaf – where French pastry holds together a unison of creamy coconut flavours, black garlic gel and caviar.Gorgeous floral arrangement  in the Tropical Pol.Gorgeous floral arrangement in the Tropical Pol.

Sri Lanka’s beloved pol sambol featuring coconut is artistically presented in a tart shell dotted with edible flowers in Nadodi’s Tropical Pol rendition.

The appetisers rolled in soon after with Prawnstar, a delightful Indian dumpling which is a savoury take of kolukattai – a sweet rice flour dumpling stuffed with a sticky jaggery and coconut filling.

The spiced prawn kolukattai is placed on a bed of mustard-hued sambar and thakkali (tomato) chutney, and dotted with burnt chilli oil.

To give it a whimsical touch, one notices the cloud of light citrusy yuzu foam and a sole moringa leaf lending an emerald green touch to the presentation.

In tribute to the banana plant, the Heart of Hearts course highlights old recipes that are now hard to come by.

The third dish on Nadodi’s 10-course menu comprised poached banana blossoms as well as banana stem sprinkled with turmeric and cooked in coconut milk for five hours.Rustic Toddy Dreams cleanses the palate.Rustic Toddy Dreams cleanses the palate.

This was then served with puffed rice seasoned with turmeric and salt.

A thin and slightly sweet plantain chip placed over the dish gives an addictive crunch.

Next up was Lobster Taco, an introduction to India’s fermentation process used in the famous thosai.

Thicker and fluffier, the uttapam, a type of thosai, acts like a pancake base where toppings are added on.

“Our version is based on podi uttapam,” said Nadodi executive chef Mohammed Eliyaz.

“We use local slipper lobsters poached in butter.

“More taste is introduced with peanut chutney, mint chutney, shallots, shishito pepper and pineapple gel offering layers of flavour.”

The menu then unveiled the Alfonsino featuring steamed kinmedai fish from Japan, sorghum grains and roselle puli saoru that is also known as pulicha keerai or gongura.

Known for its sour and tart taste, the gongura leaves are cooked and blended into a thin but robust flavoured soup base.

Soft sorghum is layered over the soup before the fish is perched on top.Lobster Taco with uttapam and slipper lobster.Lobster Taco with uttapam and slipper lobster.

The inclusion of toddy on the menu is clever as the perk-me-up palate cleanser was much looked forward to.

Rustic Toddy Dreams worked like magic in paving the way for the meaty main courses.

Served in a faceted glass vessel, the elaneer (young coconut water) sorbet with toddy gel and transparent toddy veil presents sweet and refreshing fermented coconut sap to awaken the palate.

Following in line was Pigeon Prestige, a dish with apricot pickle, truffle and salt baked beetroot.

According to Mohammed, pigeons are a source of protein relished in rural areas in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Together with the condiments, the pigeon was not as gamey as it would have been eaten on its own.

The Lamb Legacy stops you in your tracks the minute you notice that you are about to consume brains.

Featuring Pyrenees lamb, chukka, brain thuna paha curry and chayote shoots, this dish showcases different textures of lamb.

Here, lamb neck is braised with spices and dry curry while lamb brain is seared to reveal its creamy texture.

The tiered Nomad’s Globe that arrived as a huge ceramic ball was easily separated to reveal three dishes.

It proved to be a winner with tender morsels of chicken in aromatic spices nestled among short grain briyani rice in one vessel.

Another tier held golden vegetable samosas while the third dish presented kiwi with yoghurt.

Coconut Chronicles, available until June, is priced at RM750++ per person while the vegetarian fare is RM650++.

NADODI,

Level 7A, Four Seasons Hotel, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur.

(Tel: 017-296 9520). Business hours: Opens 6pm, daily.

This is the writer’s personal observation and is not an endorsement by StarMetro.

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Nadodi , Coconut Chronicles

   

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